A Simple Binding

As I’ve learned to quilt, I amassed three or four different tools to help me close bindings.  What I found is that, while the tools work fine, less is more.

I attended a course at a local Original Sewing & Quilting expo, titled, “The Simple Binding”.  It was hosted by a gentleman who had been judging quilts for years.  He showed us a technique to attach and close the binding on your quilt without extra tools or rulers. I love it, and this is how I close my quilts 100% of the time now.

Step 1:  Cut your binding strips

I recently purchased a June Tailor Shape Cut Pro ruler. IMG_6347

This ruler made cutting a pile of perfect 2 1/2″ strips a breeze.  My rotary cutter blade did “stick” a little in the slots, but I expect with further use, that will improve.


I like 2 1/2″ strips, either bias, or cross grain for my quilt binding.
2 1/2″ provides nice full binding coverage for a variety of batting thicknesses, and is easy to machine stitch-in-the ditch (more later).
If you hate cutting strips, use a jelly roll.

Step 2:  Stitch End-to-End, Press, Trim

  • Sew the strips together
  • Trim the excess leaving about 1/4″ seam allowance
  • Trim the “dog ears”
  • Press the seams open
  • Press the entire length of 2 1/2″ binding in half once, lengthwise

Do you want a quick video tutorial?

Step 3:  Sew the binding to the top of your quilt sandwich

  • Align the unfinished edge of the binding to the unfinished edge of your quilt
  • Stitch the binding to the quilt sandwich using a 1/4″ seam allowance
    ***  Leave about a 10″ gap un-sewn, with excess binding for closure
  • Connect the ends of the binding – A technique without rulers…
  • Flip, form the mitered corners and stitch in the ditch to finish the binding.


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